13 August 2014

ThinkServer TS140 Build

As my old server is 5 years old (2008-12) and been showing its age, I decided it was time for an upgrade.


1x Lenovo  ThinkServer TS140 70A4001LUX  -  $399.99 - $50 rebate (newegg)
  • Intel Xeon E3-1225v3 3.2GHz
  • 4GB DDR3 1600
  • No Hard Drive
  • Gigabit Ethernet 
2x Western Digital Red 3 TB  -  $114.99 a piece (newegg)
1x Old Western Digital Caviar 250 GB w/ sata cable  -  Already had
1x 18 inch Monoprice Sata III cable with 90 degree angle plug  -  $2.66 (amazon)
1x Trendnet USB to PS/2 adapter (TU-PS2)  -  $8.99 (amazon)
1x Small zip tie  -  Already had


Xubuntu 14.04 LTS 64bit  -  Free (xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/)

Total Cost: $591.62 + tax

Hardware Installation:

  1. Opened up the case
    1. Removed Thumb screws (had to use screwdriver to get it started)
    2. Pressed in the side release button
    3. Removed side panel
  2. Installed the 250GB primary drive (in what Lenovo calls the tertiary drive slot)
    1. Pressed the quick release button
    2. Pushed the 5.25 to 3.5 adapter out from the inside
    3. Be careful as the fan power cord is not long!
    4. Placed the hard drive in the adapter
    5. Flipped over while supporting hard drive
    6. Aligned screw holes and fastened screws (make sure to use included screws as they are longer due to anti-vibration gaskets)
    7. Pushed adapter back into place and assured that quick release snapped back into place
    8. Attached Sata
      1. Removed front USB motherboard connector
      2. Moved existing Sata cable from Sata0 to Sata1
      3. Reattached front USB motherboard connector
      4. Attached Sata cable to Sata0 ran thru cord fastener on motherboard side and attached to HD
    9. Attached Power
      1. Clipped zip tie holding power cable in place
      2. Un-did loop in power cable so it could reach HD
      3. Attached power cable to HD
      4. Zip tied all cables back into place
  3. Installed the 2x 3TB drives
    1. Pulled out the drive caddy
    2. Installed pegs into one side of the HD
    3. Stretched caddy so that pegs would go into other side of the HD
    4. Pushed HD + caddy back into place
    5. Attached sata (Sata1 and Sata2) and power cable


I wanted to do an extended drive test on all the drives to ensure they were in good working order before proceeding with my software install. I used the Western Digital DOS diagnostic tool (wdc.com). It took about 7 hours for each of the 3TB drives and just over an hour for the 250GB drive.

Software Installation:

  1. First I created a linux live USB from the ISO
  2. Booted from the USB in Try Xubuntu mode
  3. As I was recycling a drive from an old FakeRaid array, I had to delete the raid metadata. I opened up a terminal window and ran:
    • sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sdX
    • where X is the letter of the old raid array drive
  4. Ran the install Xubuntu icon on the desktop
  5. Followed the prompts to install to the 250GB drive
    • Used advanced partition setup:
      • /boot: 537MB
      • /: 100GB
      • /home: 139 GB
      • swap: 8GB
  6. Remove USB and Reboot 
  7. Installed Updates
    • sudo update-manager
  8. Reboot 
  9. Made sure Red Drives had WD Load/Unload update installed
  10. Setup the ZFS mirrored raid 
    1. sudo apt-get install zfs-fuse
    2. ls /dev/disk/by-id/
    3. sudo zpool create storage mirror /dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD30EFRX-68EUZN0_WD-SERIAL#1 /dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD30EFRX-68EUZN0_WD-SERIAL#2
    4. sudo zpool status


  • The server is dead quiet which is one of the major reasons I bought it
  • With the Trendnet for some reason the scroll on the mouse causes the mouse to jump instead of scrolling, but as I plan to use this as a mainly server this is a small issue

11 August 2014

Ikea Dimmable LED Light Bulb Review

Ikea Dimmable LED Light Bulb Review

LEDARE - E26 - LED1207G11


Key Specs:
10 watt
600 lumens (~60 watt equivalent)
2700 kelvin
25000 hours

From Energystar.gov, here is a quick reference chart that shows approximate lumens for old incandescent light bulbs:
Old Incandescent Bulbs
ENERGY STAR Bulb Brightness
(Minimum Lumens)
40 450
60 800
75 1,100
100 1,600
150 2,600

We used 4 of them to replace 60W incandescent bulbs in a ceiling fan.

  • Despite being lower lumens, the lights actually appear brighter, in fact we normally only have to turn the dimmer half way up to get enough light!
  • Use only 10 Watts at max brightness, so we are saving over 75%
  • Price, was $10-12 when we bought them and have dropped in price to $7.49
  • They are "instant on", but I have noticed at lower dimmer settings they do take longer to come on, and it works best to turn them on fully and then dim them.
  • Hang out slightly farther in the light fixture than the bulbs they replaced
Other Thoughts:
  • Does not dim as low as the lights they replaced, but maintains a constant white (old bulbs would become redder as they dimmed)
  • Come in both frosted and clear